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Retired Killeen ISD teacher protests for mask mandate

Posted at 7:51 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 22:37:27-04

As some Texas school districts have begun mandating masks, others have chosen not to and that includes Killeen ISD.

The debate on whether or not to mandate masks is ongoing, and it’s a fight that some continue to show up for.

As COVID-19 continues to spread through the state more and more, school-aged children are getting sick, according to health officials, one way to slow the spread is to wear a mask.

”When you wear a mask, that decreases the amount of droplets that actually comes out of you, and if you’re the person on the other end when someone sneezes, coughs, talks, etc, it can actually block those potentially infected droplets from getting into your respiratory system and making you sick,” said Amy Mersiovsky, director of the Department of Nursing at Texas A&M Central Texas.

That is why many people, like retired Killeen ISD special education teacher Irene Andrews, feel that masks should be mandated in schools.

This belief has had her demonstrating in front of the Killeen ISD office every Monday and Friday , and she does not plan to stop.

”The first day I came out with signs was the beginning of school, on that Monday, and I've been out here every time since,” said Andrews.

Even though one or two people have stood with her from time to time, she has largely been fighting her cause alone.

”I did have a couple of people that helped me the first time but I'm fine," said Andrews. "I’m fine being out here by myself. This is my personal commitment.”

As she holds a sign that says “Honk For Masks”, the sound of car horns tells her she is not really alone.

”Just make some noise," said Andrews. "Let them know we are here, that we are serious and we’re not going away and our demands have not changed. We need universal masking in our schools immediately.”

Making noise is exactly what she and others plan to do ahead of Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Andrews and others are planning to meet around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday evening in the hopes of being heard before the school board meeting starts at 6 p.m.

While the district said it doesn't plan to mandate mask, they did say they are strongly encouraging them.